Wikis are flexible on-line platforms that allow the creation of interlinked sites and upload of contents. For the purpose of this project, the University of Liverpool’s Blackboard system hosted the Wiki sites as part of the module documentation.
Each of the 10 design groups were asked to create an online digital portfolio (embedded into Blackboard and set as wiki-sites for each individual group) to manage, coordinate and document their design process and team interaction during the life-cycle of the design process. The digital portfolios of each group were composed of both individual and team input. The students were required to use multi-modal representations, to articulate both the knowledge they have acquired throughout the "collaborative" design process and the relationship of this knowledge to the evolution of the design arteact. In other words, the use of the digital portfolios were not only limited to the "display" of the design artefact information produced, but were also utilized to "personalize, share, reﬂect and display what they (each group) have learned and produced collectively.
The learned elements (knowledge) displayed/represented in the digital portfolios were required to be structured and interlinked in such a way that diﬀerent design knowledge could be compiled, organized, represented and shared selectively. At key times during the semester, students were asked to share their wikis in conversations with their tutors and peers.
Different representational assemblies have been used and produced by the students. Representational assemblies account for the recording and communication of the design process. The most used resource is the interaction between texts and images, nevertheless those images can comprise of additional representational modalities: notes, sketches, diagrams, 3D visualisations, among others. Additional media resources (presentations and videos) were hosted outside the wikis but were embedded into the wikis through hyperlinks. Below are some snapshots exemplifying these different assemblies by one student groups.
*snapshots exemplifying these different modalities by different student groups
*screen captured from Group 4 Wikis
*screen captured from Group 1 Wikis
*screen captured from Group 8 Wikis
*screen captured from Group 5 Wikis.
Different communication modalities have been embedded into the wikis by the students; e.g. individual and group-based reflection, interaction, feedback. Particularly, individual reflection can be depicted from “conversation pages” that account for the internal group dynamics, and collaborative reflection in group meeting records, tutor/peer feedbacks, and design progression pages. The collaborative work being made during the production, curation and assembly of material for the wikis also account for group-based decision making, as both tasks were stressed during physical meetings.
Every group declared to have met minimum twice a week. Those meetings aimed for decision-making, production and managing both individual and group tasks. Group meetings were recorded in two ways in wikis. Some groups developed a “conversation page” where meetings and e-mails were recorded as part of the Wiki site. This was usually a text-based record, but other groups set a record based on scanned sketches and notes taken during meetings. Such sources are less descriptive (less text) yet provide rich visual representations of the design ideas and discussions.
*samples of a group recorded text and notes, conveying their own group dynamics and interactions .
*screen capture showing students from different groups interacting with critics and encourgments.
*screen capture showing a tutor delivering feedback to a group.
*screen capture showing students exchanging the design knowledge with other groups.
*screen capture showing tutor's instruction for a specific group .
*screen capture showing students exchanging design tool information (Grasshopper) with other groups.